Public Sector Job Losses in South West

The following press release from TUC South West was released in March 2012.


One in 14 public sector workers in the South West lost their jobs between July and September last year, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics.

A total of 37,000 workers – at seven per cent, the largest fall in the country – of those employed in the region by local government, the police, the forces and the NHS lost their jobs.

Nigel Costley, Regional Secretary of the South West TUC, said: ‘All across our region public sector jobs are disappearing in droves as local councils, government agencies and the health service are forced to cut services to the core as the Chancellor’s austerity measures hit hard.

‘More than 37,000 public sector workers in the South West have now lost their jobs at a time when finding work has never been harder.

‘Behind every job loss is not just the job consequences but the loss of valuable public services.

‘Ministers must see that their economic policies are doing huge harm, and with more spending cuts coming down the track and the recovery still weak, thousands more public servants will soon be swelling the ranks of the unemployed.

‘A change of direction which has jobs and growth at its heart is now long overdue.’


This is devastating enough but when you take this together with the results of a recent Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) survey of 1,000 employers it gets even worse. It highlights that the governments assurances that the private sector would “fill the hole” made by all the public sector cuts is simply proving to be be pure fantasy without a growth strategy.

The survey showed that a third of private sector employers had kept on more staff than they needed to avoid losing skills.

But almost two-thirds said they would have to cut back if economic growth did not pick up in the next year.

“Recent falls in unemployment suggest that the labour market is on a sound footing, but a closer examination reveals that many employers are holding on to more staff than is required by the current level of demand in order to retain their skills,” said report author Gerwyn Davies.

“This is a make or break moment for employers – unless growth picks up many will find that they cannot hold on to some workers any longer.

“The tenacity with which employers are hanging on to skilled labour is a reflection of the high value they place on it and the damage they fear will be done to their businesses if they are forced to start making more redundancies.”

The survey also showed that public sector organisations were predicting average pay rises of 0.2%, compared with 2.5% in the private sector.

Source: BBC

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